Friday, May 28, 2010

Fab Finds...celebrating summer!

The weather here in Portland, Oregon has been G.L.O.O.M.Y. After teasing us two weeks ago with summer-like weather, everything changed and has been stormy and cold ever since. I think we are now having the winter that we never really had. So I'm going to do my best to combat the situation by thinking about Summer, dreaming about Summer, and even shopping for Summer. (Or at least window-shopping for summer!) To me, summer is all about flowers, bright colors, and America's favorite pastime. Which isn't really my favorite pastime, but since my husband adores baseball...well, I've become a fan too. Since he now (drumroll please) subscribes to my blog...honey, there's even a find in here for you! (I'll give you a hint: it's NOT the paper flowers. As much as I'm sure you love paper flowers. What man doesn't?)

design-your-own bird and branches pillow cover

The three pillows in this post are all by meringuedesigns. I discovered this Etsy seller when reading LeAnn's blog, Vintage Sassy. LeAnn's got great style and I knew if she had a favorite Etsy source for pillows, it must be a good one. It is! Love all the pillows and covers at meringedesigns.

It's happy, bright, says summer to me!! Also by meringuedesigns.

The aforementioned paper flowers. Aren't they lovely? These would be great for a wedding, or garden party, or funky decor around the house. Paperplatypus has a wide variety of styles that are very detailed, yet not so realistic that they lose their funkiness. (Is that a word? It is now, I guess.) I'd attach these to stems and place in a vase, or glue them onto a blank canvas and make a 3-D art piece. Gorgeous!

Ladies, bear with me for a moment. I'm going to talk baseball. In fact, you don't even have to bear with could just scroll down to the next photo if you'd like. But for the .5% of my readers who are either 1) men or 2) care about baseball or 3) care about men who care about baseball, this gift idea is for you. Here's the history on this piece. For a long time, I've been stalking (I mean following) Anne Harwell's blog, Annechovie. You may remember her as being the one with the gorgeous chair artwork that I'm in love with (I own no less than eight tiny prints of hers). Her grandfather (who just recently passed away) was Ernie Harwell, the announcer for the Detroit Tigers for 42 years. Represented on this poster (created by Anne's brother and Ernie's grandson, Josh Harwell) is Ernie's poem that was his own special definition of baseball. The poster was created as a tribute both to him and the great game of baseball. Wouldn't it be a great gift for the baseball lover in your life? (Okay, can thank me later...I just mentioned the word "baseball" seven times in one post. Which will most likely never happen again, so enjoy it while it lasts!!) 

1776 glittered burlap banner by funkyshique

Moving onto the American holiday of Independence Day, which we celebrate on July 4. This banner by funkyshique has got to be one of my all-time favorite Fourth of July decorations I've ever seen! It is stenciled with "1776" and red, white and blue glittered stars at each end. We don't seem to talk a lot about the Revolutionary War, but that's where this country began, and I love both the history and the whimsical nature of this banner. For me, the combination of rough burlap + sparkly glitter = LOVE.

Also by funkyshique are these adorable gift bags. Each one is stenciled with a pink glittered cupcake. You get a set of four for $12. Aren't they the cutest? I had so much fun browsing in this shop. Funkyshique makes banners for just about every holiday, and I love every single one of them. I can't stand tacky holiday decor, and these are so NOT tacky. Even the St. Paddy's day banner is great! What I would really LOVE is the package where you can choose any 6 holiday banners for $100. How fun to have a cute banner you could pull out for each season or each holiday.

Happy sighs. Finally, someone who loves Jane Austen and modern design, too. This mug would be a great way to celebrate any occasion and bears a quote from Pride and Prejudice, when Jane gets engaged to Mr. Bingley. What a great way to celebrate!

Half agony mug from brookish

"I am half agony, half hope." The other side of this mug displays the "half hope". In the words of seller brookish, "Any Persuasion fans out there? It's up there with P&P for me, although not as quotable. This however, is a mug-worthy line from Capt. Wentworth in his highly romantic letter to Anne Elliot." Jane Austen again provides the language for this lovely mug. As a mom of three little ones, I'd say this mug pretty much describes how I begin each day. ;-)

And last, but not least, this necklace struck me as gorgeous. It's listed as being for bridesmaids, but it would be lovely to wear to any event this summer that calls for that extra special touch to your wardrobe. Etsy seller mollusa makes gorgeous clutches, hairpins, and jewelry, all with these fabulous handmade flower touches. Great for wedding parties, but lovely for special occasions too.

There you have it! You know, a funny thing happened as I was writing this post. As I wrote about summer, and things that remind me of summer, my spirits lifted. Just a little. Maybe yours will too?

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

beautiful things in the mail

My Friday's finds will have to wait...till next Friday I guess...'cause I'm just so excited about this recent NestInk order that I had to share it with you!

Here is part of a large custom order I did recently for a surprise birthday dinner. The customer ordered a different design as a personalized party favor for each guest. I think that is so cool!

 And you know how I am. Once I found out that they were favors for an event, I offered to package them up in a way that would coordinate with the event colors. This customer sent me a link to the gorgeous invitations she had already sent out, and I found the perfect ribbon to coordinate, in addition to the white paper lace I like to use. I can't help myself...I get ridiculously excited about these little things. Just ask my husband! He just shakes his head and smiles.

As a special surprise, I also created these little gift tags that coordinated with the card packaging. My customer can choose to use them as gift tags for each card set at the party - or save them to use herself! The photo above is a little dark (sorry), but there's a beige flower with a tiny rhinestone on each little gift tag.

I did my best to make the package beautiful. In fact, even the postman commented on "what a pretty little box". Even my packing tape is decorative! I just think that ordering beautiful things from my shop should be an experience, from the moment the box arrives. It should be attractive and build anticipation for whatever's inside. Like a beautifully-wrapped Christmas gift!

And while I was at it, I finally created new business cards for myself! Each one is, of course, adorned with a tiny rhinestone. Sigh. I just love this sort of thing. (Silly, I know. But it's just how I was built, I guess!) I will most likely be adding business cards/calling cards to my Etsy shop very soon. Needing a new business card or even a Mommy calling card for yourself! Contact me and I'll make something special just for you. :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

nest ink update

The cool thing is that just as I had a bit of a lull in redesign clients, my card sales suddenly spiked, so I've been super busy working on custom orders from my Etsy shop. I love the timing of it all!

Here are a couple of examples of card orders recently. I like to package them in a way that coordinates with the color of the cards themselves. I have quite a collection of turns out I love ribbon almost as much paper...and I really enjoy making the packaging beautiful too. I want it to feel like an extra-special gift when someone opens it, something that I myself would be tickled to receive. 

I just took tons of photos this morning of an extra-large card order. A gal ordered ten sets of personalized cards for favors at a birthday dinner she's hosting. Each set was personalized with the guests' names and they were all different designs. What a cool idea! I don't know about you, but I've never been to a party where my favor was customized stationery before. It might actually be the one thing I'd rather have over a cupcake. Might.

Anyway, it takes forever to upload pics from my camera, so I'll post the pics of the favors and the extra little gift I included with them in a separate post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Finds: pretty things

Oh, did I find some treats for you this week. They're not edible treats, but they almost could be, because they are sooo pretty. So pretty. Prepare yourself. I've chosen three shops on Etsy that sell such pretty things...they'll make both your home and you feel pretty. (I'm going for the world-record of how many times I can say "pretty" in one paragraph.)

Yikes! I almost feel dizzy looking at this...yet it's so beautiful to me, too. Look at the colors! Almost like a painting rather than a photograph. Very dreamy.

Another very dreamy photograph. I love everything about this. I want to be in this dream right now! 

Oooh....purty flower....I like. By the way, you should check out f2images...they have over 200 images that are just as gorgeous as these!

I love how this photograph looks very if salvaged from a fabulous photography studio of a hundred years ago.

And now, may I introduce you to my new favorite jewelry seller EVER on Etsy? I'm in awe of the one-of-a-kind pieces thatjewelrygirl churns out regularly. Remind me to buy all future necklaces from her, please! So vintage, yet unique and modern...just my style!

This orange one is delicious. Victorian yet...modern.

For those that prefer a more delicate piece....yet it's no less eye-catching and fabulous!

I like how many of her designs are asymmetrcial, yet have a theme that makes sense. Like this one, where she's included a honey bee, flowers, and a crystal that is the color of honey. Genius!

Aww. I mean really. There are no words.

Perfect wallet in pink, green & orange

Now this one might seem a little random, but my wallet totally fell apart the other day, so of Etsy I went! Now I haven't actually purchased a replacement yet, but these wallets by happykathy are at the top of my list. It's actually fairly difficult to find handmade wallets that have all the slots for credit cards too - more than just a coin purse. These all have the slots inside that I like. The fabric above is my favorite I think.

Perfect wallet in pretty floral

I love this fabric too - very striking.

Perfect wallet in pink floral

And this one is very fun. I'm getting into pink more and more these days...never thought I'd say that.

Well, there you have it, folks. This week's obsessions. I mean fabulous finds. Head over to their shops, browse around a little...maybe even tell 'em I sent ya. :-)  Don't you feel pretty now, just having looked at pretty things?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

fifty cent masterpiece

So do you like how I make a big announcement ("I'm back!!") and then promptly disappear for a couple of weeks? I just like to keep ya guessin'! On your toes! Well, I have been sooo busy, both with Nesting Instincts clients (yay!!) and with the rest of my real life. I've had so much fun with my clients, handing out opinions left and right (one thing I'm never short on)...but most of them are in the midst of larger, long-term redesigns as opposed to one-day jobs where I can take pictures. Because I know how much you all like a good before-and-after story. I do too! But unfortunately, those haven't been the kind of jobs I've worked on recently, so we will just all have to be patient while my clients do the hard work implementing some of my suggestions.  

But I have made it to a few garage sales recently. For those of us that live in Oregon, there is a definite (though unspoken) garage-sale season which will officially kick off after Memorial Day weekend. But, there have been several brave souls scattered about the city which have taken their fate (or at least the weather) into their own hands and offered their junk...I mean treasures...up for sale. I've nabbed a few of them recently.

At the top of this post is a cute little original oil painting, very nicely done I think, which I scored for...I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this...$.50. In case you get the decimal point mixed up, that's fifty CENTS.

Then, the chandelier in the box...Shiny Boring Builder's Special from 1989. Let there be no doubt, this is a BEFORE picture. I haven't had time yet to make it into an AFTER but I'm hoping I can soon. I can't decide whether to make this a "safe" re-do with white paint and crystals, or a "funky" re-do with...well, I won't tell you with what, but trust would be funky. IF I could pull it off. Haven't decided yet...but it's for my dining room. Confession: there's still a gaping hole in the ceiling where the fan used to be before my big dining room makeover a couple of years ago.

Mostly, recently, I've been spending time with this little hearthrob:

and these two cuties:

but I did get to see her recently:

...and she was just as gorgeous and funny in person as she is in her cookbook and on her blog. The line was too long for me to wait for her to sign my book, so I just lurked for a while and shot this photo on the way to the restroom...just to prove that I was in the same room as the Pioneer Woman! (I know, my photojournalistic skills are...stunning.)

So there you have it, friends! I'm having fun, designing for friends and living life...but man, it's a busy time. Three kids, five and under...need I say more? But I'm not complaining. I feel blessed. Now if I could just get my own house in order! Ah well. That's what tomorrow's for. :-)